About Enchanted Seashells by Princess Rosebud

MIDlifestyle blog. I'm the mom of Professor Angel Boy and grandma to Angel Boy 2.0 and Angel Girl 2.0. I love to camp and hike. I've been in a few films, co-produced a surf-related radio show, co-owned a couple small businesses, and co-directed a non-profit organization. I love seashells and rocks, gardening and baking, Hello Kitty, Chanel, and anything sparkly. I've been a veg since 1970 and an ardent animal activist forever. Fashionista...veganista...animal activista...If you don't find me crying myself to sleep, I'm off on a mission to find the perfect shoe!

What’s your sign?

We used to ask that a lot, do you remember? 

OK, I’ll go first.

I’m a Taurus through and through. If you look up almost any description of Taurus the Bull, you’ll be able to suss out most of my personality traits.

A Taurus is born between April 20 and May 20. Taurus is the second of the twelve astrological signs and is represented by the bull constellation. Of the four zodiac elements (air, earth, fire, and water), Taurus is an Earth sign, which kinda makes sense to me ‘cos I love to garden and play in the dirt.

Collectively, Earth signs are practical, stoic, and determined. We Taureans are known for our tenacity, but there’s more to me than that… we’re a bit of dark horse. Ruled by the planet Venus, we share her traits of beauty, artistry, and a love for luxury and comfort. (Soooo true.)

Taureans are considered to be the anchor of the zodiac. That fixed modality means that we love our stability and find comfort in consistency.

With Venus (the goddess of love) as our dominant planet, we won’t shy away from romance. If a Taurus has chosen you, our loyal, genuine nature means we’re in it for the long haul. We are devoted and trustworthy and loving and faithful and dependable and have a highly developed sense of integrity and self respect. 

Taureans aren’t fond of authority (SOOO TRUE!) and might challenge a teacher or professor (or cop) whom they believe is wrong about something or just wasting their time. You know that one student in class who’s always challenging the professor? Probably a Taurus.

Above all else, people born under the Taurus sign value honesty.

Taureans, like the bull that represents them, are known to be intelligent, dependable, hardworking, dedicated, and stubborn (teehee).

I’m sure we Taureans have a few shadowy negative traits, but I’m only focusing on the positive ones here.

Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg and Queen Elizabeth are both Taureans? For me, the best part of being a May baby is that every seven years, my birthday falls on Mother’s Day, so I get to celebrate my birth along with the joy being mom to my one and only Angel Boy.

What’s YOUR sign?

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Blossoms of July

These (not mine) bluey-blue hydrangeas are amazingly beautiful.

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So is this dogwood (also not mine).

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But my own very rosy red hydrangea gift is special and belongs to me!

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That’s it. Nothing more to say, but enjoy the 4th!

“Do you love me more than a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles?” More brilliant chat with a little human.

“You’re my little Grandma.”

“I know I am. I’m a very small person and now you’re almost as big as I am.”

“Let’s compare hands, little Grandma!”

“OH MY GAWD, Grandma. My hand is almost as big as yours now!”

“I know, T, remember I told you that you are growing and growing every day and I stay the same size?”

“You’re my old little Grandma.”

*Yes, I am. (Lolz.)*

“Grandma, can you carry me?”

“I don’t think I can do that anymore, but let me try. You are so tall and SO heavy. I can pick you up, but I can’t carry you now. Daddy will carry you if you’re tired.”

“Daddy, Grandma cut triangles and hearts and circles and squares and I glued them to a piece of paper. Do you wanna see? Grandma said that’s one of the things I’ll do when I go to Kindergarten.”

“Grandma, did your little boy Daddy do that too? Did he like to glue shapes? Did he like to read? Did he like to watch Sesame Street? My Daddy is your little boy, right, Grandma? But he’s a man so how can he be your little boy? He’s big. My Daddy is so big. He’s bigger than you, little Grandma.”

“If there’s no gravity in space, how did the astronauts not float away when they were on the moon?”

What a great and thoughtful question, T. Let’s research it and find the answer.”

“Grandma? Do you love me more than a chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles?”

“Hmm, that’s a really tough one, buddy. I do love chocolate a LOT. Let me think about it. Well, the answer is yes, I love you more than a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles.”

“Do you love me more than seashells and rocks?”

“Oh NO, that’s going to be so hard. Let me give it some thought.  *Sigh*. You definitely know how much I love seashells and rocks, but I love you so much MORE.”

This went on for the longest time until he was completely assured that I love him more than ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

This brilliant not-so-little-human.

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Where’s the bunny? #wordlesswednesday

Do you see my bunny friend hiding in the foliage?

Surrounded by Silver Shield, Pride of Madeira, Jade, and whatever random ground cover I can propagate, my bun managed to shelter himself perfectly within their protection.

#wordlessWednesday

A rant about disagreeable people

(Because I’m not sure WordPress allows us to use the word “assholes” in a post title.)

A little slice of life from SoCal, and a reminder that sometimes the best course of action is to stay away from other humans.

While it was still relatively cool with a marine layer and an onshore breeze, I decided to take a walk.

I usually walk anywhere between four to ten miles, and today I thought I’d walk around the lagoon and a bit more, probably four miles or so, ‘cos I have a lot to do later on.

It’s a beautiful day, the birds are out, families are walking, and we were all respectful of social distancing.

Well, ALMOST all of us.

I swear, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with some older post-.menopausal white women with short blonde (to cover the gray) hair.

I’m not shaming them, as I sorta fit the description myself apart from the short hair and wheat belly Trumpian bitterness. (Inside joke for my local peeps,)

I decided to take the long way home and detoured to a public path that winds around a subdivision that once upon a time was a gorgeous habitat for a lot of coyotes and bobcats and even deer and mountain lions. It WAS spectacular. All that’s left as mitigation is this path.

Whenever I encountered another human, we waved hello and each moved to the opposite side of the approximately six foot wide trail, to respect the state-mandated distancing.

Then this happened.

An older couple approached. He was a nondescript white man; she was the person I previously described. I tried to anticipate which side of the path they would move to and I moved to the opposite. Then, in sync, they moved to the other side, so I moved away, thinking we had a silent communication glitch.

THEN, the woman stood in the middle of the path facing me with her arms outstretched, as if to block my way, and they demonically laughed.

I AM NOT KIDDING.

They OBVIOUSLY must not have realized that despite my tiny size, I’m a fire-breathing dragon with the cussing ability of a merchant mariner–and possess zero filter.

I said, “That’s really fucked up.”

He said, “Then don’t walk around here.”

I said, “What. the. fuck. I’ve lived here for thirty-five years.”

Like a toddler, he responded,  “We’ve been here for forty.”

I said, “You are full of shit.”

…snd I kept walking before the incident escalated. I wish I had thought to take a pic of them, but I just shook my head at their abject stupidity.

Who would think it funny to deliberately defy the guidelines to keep everyone safe from this virus? (While I’m not even sure what Covid IS and how it got here, I’ll play along for the greater good.)

Why bother being such assholes for no apparent reason? My hair was in a ponytail and I wore a hat so I can’t even think it was because they hate curly hair.

In the old days, an encounter like that would have ruined my day, but now I realize it’s their problem and not mine, and I don’t take on their negative energy.

However, I confess that it felt really really good to breathe a little fire, hee hee.

 

 

 

Symmetry and Succulents

For me, when hell breaks loose all around, there is solace in symmetry and succulents.

My happy place. No matter what.

Garden; verb and noun.

Breathe.

Happy Saturday!

fullsizeoutput_dfdI love these little matching pots from Daiso. They kinda sorta remind me of Chanel quilting. The plant saucers, also from Daiso, were meant to hold ginger and wasabi for sushi.

fullsizeoutput_dfbNothing but a round sunny yellow plate with a variety of succulents, but they bring joy.

 

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Happy Birthday, Anne Frank

Forever fifteen…
#AnneFrank is trending today on Twitter; I wonder what she would have thought about social media? She never got the chance, though, did she, because she died in a concentration camp. I’m still angry and maybe that’s why I stand in solidarity with #blacklivesmatter and for the resistance against brutality.
I think I first read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was twelve or thirteen. The original version of the film is on Netflix, and today seems like a good day to watch it again and to honor her indomitable spirit and to remember what someone like Hitler can do to innocent people. Especially now.
Some of my favorite quotes:
–It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality…I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
–How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
–No one has ever become poor by giving.
Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.

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Refreshing Fat Leaf Water

This stuff is so cool, sourced from the prickly pear cactus.

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I brought over to my neighbor’s house three flavors of Fat Leaf Water that the company sent me to try, so we could have a little socially distanced taste test.

Since it’s been super hot here in SoCal for the last couple of days, I thought it’d be a perfect time to quench our thirst with something new. (Usually we’re drinking a variety of fermented grape juice, but it was a bit early in the day for that.)

Key Lime Mango

Mojave Citrus

Rimrock Red

We tasted each of them and agreed that all the flavors were super hydrating and really quenched our thirst. My fave was Mojave Citrus and Key Lime Mango and I especially love the addition of turmeric, and my neighbors both liked Rimrock Red, so it was a win-win for us all.

Here’s the company info:

“WE HAVE MADE THE DECISION AT FAT LEAF WATER TO POSTPONE OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN AND POSTINGS TO SUPPORT OUR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND OUR COMMUNITY DURING THIS CHALLENGING TIME.”

Keep this brand on your radar and when things get back to normal, whenever and whatever that is, I hope I’ve planted a seed so that you try it, too.

From their website:

Q: WHAT IS FAT LEAF WATER?

A: FAT LEAF WATER IS THE FIRST CACTUS-WATER BASED SPORTS HYDRATION BEVERAGE. IT’S PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS, ELECTROLYTES, VITAMIN C, MINERALS AND TAURINE.

Q: WHAT IS PRICKLY PEAR?

A: PRICKLY PEAR IS A CACTUS, A RESILIENT SUPER PLANT FOUND IN ARID AREAS. IT PRODUCES BLOSSOMS, WHICH TURNS INTO A FRUIT, CALLED PRICKLY PEAR FRUIT. THE JUICE OF THE PRICKLY PEAR FRUIT IS OUR MAIN INGREDIENT IN FAT LEAF WATER. IT PROVIDES ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES AND IS PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS, ELECTROLYTES, VITAMINS, MINERALS AND NATURAL TAURINE.

Q: WHY THE NAME FAT LEAF WATER?

A: THE PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS IS A SUPER PLANT THAT SOMEHOW STAYS SUPER HYDRATED IN HARSH DRY CLIMATES. IT EFFICIENTLY STORES WATER IN ITS LARGE, FLAT AND FLESHY PADS OR LEAVES. THUS THE NAME FAT LEAF WATER.

Q: IS THE PRICKLY PEAR FRUIT SUSTAINABLE?

A: YES. THE PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS IS A NATIVE TO THE AMERICAS. IT IS A RESILIENT PLANT THAT REQUIRES VERY LITTLE WATER TO PRODUCE AND GROW. THE FRUIT, PADS (LEAVES) AND FLOWERS ARE ALL EDIBLE. THE CACTUS IS EASY TO CULTIVATE AND PROPAGATE, FROM SEED OR HEALTHY PLANT.

Q: I SEE “TAURINE” AS AN INGREDIENT IN ALL YOUR BEVERAGES. WHAT IS TAURINE?

A: TAURINE (DUBBED THE “WONDER MOLECULE” BY SCIENTISTS) IS A COMPOUND AMINO ACID THAT OCCURS NATURALLY IN THE BODY. IT IS PARTICULARLY CONCENTRATED IN THE BRAIN, EYES, HEART AND MUSCLES AND SHOWN TO IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE. PRICKLY PEARS NATURALLY CONTAIN TAURINE, AND WE ADDED AN ADDITIONAL BOOST FOR AN EXTRA KICK!

Q: IS YOUR BEVERAGE GLUTEN FREE?

A: YES. ALL OUR INGREDIENTS ARE GLUTEN FREE. THE FACILITY IN WHICH OUR BEVERAGE IS PRODUCED IS ALSO GLUTEN FREE.

Q: IS YOUR BEVERAGE NATURAL?

A: YES. OUR FAT LEAF WATER BEVERAGES ARE MADE FROM ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS.

Q: IS YOUR BEVERAGE VEGAN?

A: YES. ALL OUR FAT LEAF WATER BEVERAGES ARE PLANT-BASED.

 

I was provided product and no compensation; the reviews are my own honest opinion.

 

 

Hot summer day in the garden

Really hot for the beach…

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And probably super crowded, too difficult to maintain proper social distancing, so I’m here:

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with a couple friends …

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and some mulberries that aren’t quite ready…IMG_6688

along with some pretty pretty flowers…fullsizeoutput_df1fullsizeoutput_df2I’m enjoying all the lush and colorful garden because pretty soon no matter what I do, the grass will turn brown ‘cos we probably won’t have more rain until next winter and the dry hot SoCal Santana winds make watering a futile effort.

The Unseen

It’s been a long while since the gardens at Casa de Enchanted Seashells were honored by the presence of a four-legged child. When we had a completely empty nest, there was supposed to be a lot of travel and other fun but that didn’t really happen, at least not in the way I had happily anticipated.

This was my beloved Bandit…Bandit in a box

…and my beautiful Border Collie boy –Victor at age sixteen, enjoying his senior years at what was to be his last Christmas before crossing over the Rainbow Bridge, sitting in the place of honor because he deserved it.

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Lately, something odd and mysterious has been going on here.  I’ve discovered tennis balls and other toys that simply seem to randomly appear out of nowhere, some even in the middle of the lawn, as if a game of fetch was still in progress.

See?

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There’s a monogamous pair of coyotes that visit me on a regular basis and I have a wildlife camera set up to record their activities, so I know the balls don’t come from them, although that’d be super cool if they were bringing me gifts to thank me for my vocal support regarding coexistence with wildlife, instead of vilifying and murdering them.

But…

My yard is completely fenced in–not that coyotes care about that–but to emphasize the fact that a normal domestic dog roaming the neighborhood couldn’t possibly find a way in, and certainly not with a ball in his or her mouth.

I like to think it’s the spirit of my Victor sending me a gigantic message that he’s still chasing tennis balls and he’s up there with Sabrina and Stella Rondo and Beowulf and Tovah and Bandit and Misty and Tawny and Blackie, all my beautiful children who were so very loved and cherished during their lifetimes and beyond.

Here’s my most special part wolf, Beowulf, and a MUCH younger me.

I was part of a covert rescue operation and bottlefed him every two hours. I was his mom and he was my perfect boy. We were inseparable. Soul mates.

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Yup, I really do miss them all so very much.

But where do the balls really come from?